Turkey’s illegal activities within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are an act of piracy and demonstrate utter contempt towards the EU, the Cyprus Government has stated.
In an announcement issued Monday, the Presidency of the Republic condemns in the most unequivocal manner Turkey’s imminent attempted illegal drilling operation within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, in an area lawfully delimited by means of the 2003 EEZ Delimitation Agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the Arab Republic of Egypt, in accordance with international law.
“The specific maritime area spans exploration blocks 6 and 7, which have been duly licensed to the European companies ENI and TOTAL. The hydrocarbons exploration and exploitation of these blocks constitute exclusive sovereign rights of Cyprus, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as customary international law, to the exclusion of any other State, including Turkey,” the announcement says.
Moreover, the Presidency points out that the announced new Turkish drilling, the sixth (6th) in less than a year, “is revelatory of Ankara’s true intentions given that it continues to openly pursue its illegal expansionist plans, in the midst of the unprecedented devastating pandemic that affects humanity as a whole.”
“This new illegal “’act of piracy’, constitutes a further severe violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus, contrary to international law. The same holds true for the continuous seismic surveys which Turkey is conducting illegally within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the continuous ‘militarisation’ of the seas around Cyprus, which put at risk the peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the Cyprus Presidency points out.
In addition, Nicosia underlines that Turkey’s escalating and provocative actions, equate to utter contempt for the European Union itself, given that the latter imposed, in the recent past, restrictive measures against two (2) top officials of the Turkish State-owned oil company, namely the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), in the framework of the sanctions regime.
“We call once again on all natural and legal persons involved in Turkey’s illegal drillings to immediately terminate any form of cooperation or assistance in any illegal activities within Cyprus’ maritime zones. The Republic of Cyprus will continue to defend its interests and rights using all legal means at its disposal, on the basis of international and European law”, the announcement concludes.
(Cyprus News Agency)